Calls to upgrade the run-down Tom Price Hospital have been heard, with the Premier Mark McGowan committing more than $5 million in funds to redevelop the facility as part of his re-election campaign. Mr McGowan last week promised $5.3m in funds to Tom Price Hospital and $600,000 for the development of a science, technology, engineering and maths classroom for Tom Price Senior High School. The Pilbara News reported in August that the Shire of Ashburton had received acknowledgement from Department of Health WA director-general David Russell-Weisz that $5.25 million was currently available to support improvement of the hospital facilities and a business case would be considered as part of the 2020-21 budget process. At its August council meeting the Shire passed a motion to begin talks with the McGowan Government to upgrade the 50-year-old Tom Price Hospital. Shire president Kerry White told the Pilbara News in August Tom Price was in imminent need of a new hospital and access to a host of health services including mental health services, and access to specialised health practitioners. “The current hospital was built in the late 1960s and while it has received some upgrades since that time, it fails to meet current standards, expectations and requirements that are essential to our community members of today,” she said. Cr White said the Shire had reconfirmed with the WA Country Health Service the availability of the preferred site, vacant land bordered by East Road, Poinsettia Street and South Street, for the new health service. “As part of the Shire’s continued advocacy for a new health service in Tom Price to replace the existing aged facility, we have reconfirmed the availability of a suitable site from the Shire’s freehold land for a new facility, subject to WACHS confirming its viability and their securing of funding,” she said. Other promises included a $14m upgrade of the Minilya to Exmouth road, a $7.8m battery energy storage system in Exmouth, and a $6m upgrade to Yardie Creek Road. Mr McGowan said the plan for the North West Central would mean major investment into the region would continue.